After taking her courses and mastering the talents she was born with, Minya just wants to go home and hold her family close.
When her drop pod spins out of control and lands her in the dead zone, she doesn’t know how she is going to survive in the ice and snow. She can’t communicate with family and she doesn’t know where she is, so following her instincts and hiking for the distant hills.
The party of strangers doesn’t say anything, they simply bring her into their underground community and help her get warm. The women smile and offer her a crown and sash of woven greenery and the men bow and urge her down a hall where warm air hints at a comfortable place to rest.
The warm zone is occupied by a man with ice-white eyes and he offers her hospitality. Her decision will make a choice for herself, and her world.
“This is pod one requesting permission to drop personnel.” She waited for the response. She had been incredibly lucky to get authorization to leave, now she had to return and the same bureaucracy loomed in front of her.
“This is Dremarai communications. Identify the personnel.”
“Elite Master Healer Minya Bosun, child of Elite Master D’hai Bosun and Elite Healer Myka Michaels.” She smiled. “And your third sister, Tim’ha.”
“You can’t currently reach me, Minya. Glad you are home. Now for the formal agreement. Elite Master Healer Minya Bosun, you are cleared for arrival on Dremarai. Be warned, there are weather issues, you may end up off course. Don’t worry, we will find you.”
She smiled. Their sister was still roaming the stars with her mate, but Minya was not one to leave home. She went, she learned, and she headed home as soon as she was qualified in her speciality of healing. She had learned a lot from her mother, but her mom had sent her to learn more.
Knowledge was never wasted in her household and her father had no choice but to send her off when her mother asked him. A skilled healer was an asset to their people.
“On target, preparing to drop.”
“See you on the ground, Minya.”
She smiled briefly but concentrated on the targeting, “Three, two, one…drop.”
She hit the trigger and the unmanned vessel she was attached to released her. The slow drift of her pod was tracked by her instrument panel.
Her propulsion unit was returning to the ship that waited outside the legal boundary of Dremarai space.
The pod fell silently and slowly toward the planet rotating beneath her and she closed her eyes to feel the rocks and slight turns of her conveyance.
She had been away from home long enough to want to hug the hell out of all of her siblings, and her parents.
Minya had enjoyed learning, enjoyed her classmates and the folk she had been able to help using mechanical and talented methods. She had touched lives and had enough time to focus on what she wanted for her own future.
It wasn’t quite fair to say that she wanted a man like her father, but she did want one who was secure enough that she could stand on her own two feet and he would have her back, like her mother did.
She grinned at her thoughts and confirmed her harness was in place. Three more minutes passed, and the ride began to get rough.
Minya crossed her arms over her chest as she felt the atmospheric strikes against the thin hull. She was battered and knocked for what seemed like hours, but the frantic impact alert got her into her landing position.
The pod bounced, creaked, and rolled across the surface of Dremarai. At least she knew that she would be home in a few hours. The magic of the world under her would have her family at her side the moment they figured out where she was.
Minya groaned and flicked on her com unit. The bright lights that should have been there were dark. The pod was silent.
“Balls.” She grunted and tried to use an external scan. Nothing.